O.J.: Made in America (2016)


oj“I think each person who is in the limelight has an obligation to make things better for the last, the lost, the least, the left-out and the looked-over. And I thought he should have done more.” – T. Larry Kirkland Sr.

Number of Times Seen – 1 (13 Feb 2017)

Brief Synopsis – Documentary about the life and crimes of famed football player and mediocre actor O.J. Simpson.

My Take on it – All of us who were adults when the whole OJ Simpson trial began in the early ’90’s were fully engrossed in the whole tale of a celebrated athlete who became an actor and was eventually accused of murdering his ex-wife in cold blood.

It was definitely considered the “crime of the century” and it was truly one of the precursors for the way we all now look at reality TV because this WAS reality TV at it’s best.

Everyone also has an opinion of his guilt or innocence, but mostly those opinions are based on gut feeling rather than on some sort of fact or knowledge.

The early 90’s was an especially fragile time especially in LA for race relations and this event occurred at the right time for it to have an everlasting effect on those relations.

This nearly 8 hour film (The longest ever nominated for an Oscar) is a very comprehensive look at the life of OJ, before, during and after the famous trial and they don’t skimp at all when telling us this story.

I loved the fact that since they weren’t constrained by time, they could show us so much without the need to cut out anything.

Despite its length, this film was engrossing the entire time and I didn’t get bored at all while watching it all unfold in front of me.

This film does a great job presenting to us how the media and racial context was able to shape the way people thought of such a heinous crime based solely on what they knew about the person accused of the crime without knowledge of what actually occurred.

The media has had such an influence on people thoughts for so long, that I can’t really claim to believe that this was the first time that this happened, but this trial was one of the very first to be televised which gave people even more access to what was going on.

The amount of people interviewed for this film is astounding and we get so much inside information about the lives of many of the key people.  This tries (and succeeds) in giving us a greater context of it all which makes it all even more shocking and realistic.

It also explores what people consider as celebrity and how that also affects their decisions in life.

Documentaries don’t get much more comprehensive than this one does and they did an excellent job making this one.

I have seen 3 of the 5 Oscar Nominated Documentaries so far and as good as the others are, this one just blows them all away.

I’m hoping the Academy voters agree and decide to give this film the award come Oscar Night.

This is a film that has now cracked my Top Ten of 2016 because it is done so well.

I highly recommend that you try and watch this film (even in intervals) because it is so amazing!

Bottom Line – Amazing documentary that doesn’t skimp on trying to tell us the whole story of what happened in O.J.’s life.  The film is a testament to how the media and racial context can affect the way people think about certain events.  Despite it’s seemingly excessive length, this film was engrossing the entire way through.  Documentaries don’t get much more comprehensive than this one and it was amazingly done. Great interviews with so many insiders makes this even more realistic and shocking. This has now broken my top ten films of 2016!  Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – At 467 minutes (7 hours and 47 minutes), this is the longest film nominated for an Academy Award, breaking the record held by War and Peace (1966), by 31 minutes. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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8 thoughts on “O.J.: Made in America (2016)

  1. I really liked this too. Great storytelling. It aired here over a few nights, and I eagerly absorbed it. I loved the scope too. Although, I think with hindsight (ie: how well the average person understands DNA thanks to shows like CSI) the trial would have turned out very differently. I studied forensic science and abnormal psychology, but would probably still think he was guilty regardless based on the information available today. Unfortunately, race came into it and OJ’s lawyers capitalized. This documentary is the perfect companion piece to the mini-series American Crime Story: The People vs OJ Simpson.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah man, this docu is for real. I’m 2 hours in (started it the other night and have put a day in between accidentally) and I just can’t wait to see the rest. I am glad you reviewed this one man, it’s gotta be ESPN Film’s crowning achievement (based on the number of awards I see it picking up and getting nominated for, plus the number of people talking about.) That gets me excited. ESPN has so many good things to offer.

    Liked by 1 person

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